How Brands Grow - Byron Sharp, Ehrenberg-Bass Institute

A conversation with Byron Sharp, Professor of Marketing Science and Director of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute.
Byron Sharp is a Professor of Marketing Science and Director of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute – the world’s largest centre for research into marketing. 

His first book How Brands Grow: what marketers don’t know has been called one of the most influential marketing books of the past decade (Warc, 2015) and was voted marketing book of the year by AdAge readers. In 2015 he published the follow-up How Brands Grow Part 2 with Professor Jenni Romaniuk. He has also written a textbook Marketing: Theory, Evidence, Practice which reflects modern knowledge about marketing and evidence-based thinking. The revised 2nd editionof the textbook was published in 2017.

Byron has co-hosted, with Professor Jerry Wind, two conferences at the Wharton Business School on the laws of advertising, and is on the editorial board of five journals.

What we covered in this episode:
  • Being turned down for a publishing deal for How Brands Grow
  • Why experts are terrible at predicting the future
  • Marketers getting distracted by Purpose with little empirical support for it
  • The ethical reason we should be focussed on the best return on marketing
  • Byron responds to Peter Field’s Purpose research
  • The top marketing myths exposed by How Brands Grow
  • The No.1 surprise in How Brands Grow
  • Why your customers are mostly the same as your competitors
  • The law of Double Jeopardy and why we are over exposed to our own brands heavy buyers
  • The paradox of very small brands having a larger customer base than expected
  • Physical and Mental availability overlap
  • How similar the top brands look vs ten years ago
  • Lucozade sugar tax backlash and how that proved the laws of marketing
  • The surprising importance of light and very light buyers
  • Why a lot of your sales come from people who haven’t bought you for at least a year
  • The importance of not changing your design
  • Whether the laws vary depending on category
  • Why market research is designed to highlight difference rather than similarity
  • The importance of distinctiveness and being remembered
  • What Levitt, Kotler and Akker got wrong about differentiation
  • Why even bankers can’t tell their banks apart
  • The power of pink concrete mixers
  • Asking an 8 year old to tell you what’s different about your brand
  • The real role of advertising for your brand
  • How search works just like point of sale to catch people as they fall
  • How the laws remain the same in B2B
  • Why Apple isn’t your typical brand when it comes to selling product differentiation
  • Why Ehrenberg Bass has just own distinctive asset
  • Why fruit doesn’t need packaging
  • The biggest unanswered question in marketing
  • Plans for Ehrenberg Bass to make training available to marketers
  • What Byron missed out in How Brands Grow
  • The importance of marketing the research and highlighting the implications
  • Describing Mark Ritson as the best business journalist in the world
  • What Byron thinks about the environment and the role of marketing in it
How Brands Grow - Byron Sharp, Ehrenberg-Bass Institute
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